Life is funny. Last week my car broke down. I took it to the shop and they told me that it was something to do with bushers or bushings… look, cars aren’t my strong suit. It wouldn’t come out of park. And also my combination switch needed replacing. All told it was going to cost me $852. That was all of my money for February more or less, but what could I do? I have to have a car. I told them to go ahead and do it and proceeded to start on my panic attack. What on earth was I going to do? I knew I could email my aunt and ask her for the money but I was willing to do practically anything to avoid that. It is insane the things that flit across your mind when you’re desperate. I will not lie, there was half a second when I wondered if I could prostitute myself on Craigslist. But even with that, it seemed like that would take a while and I was not at all confident in my ability to go through with it. There was a moment of sheer desperation when the mail came and the thought jumped through my mind “If there is something in there telling me I owe more money, I’m actually going to kill myself.” I don’t believe I would have gone through with anything, but it’s astonishing how intense things can feel when you’re backed into a corner. Things go dark so quickly.
When I checked the mail however, there were no bills. In fact, there was a check. A medical bill I had paid a few weeks before, apparently they didn’t want the money from me after all for some reason. I don’t know why but who am I to question it? $60. “Well,” I thought to myself. “I guess now I’m down to $790.” It was such a small thing but I found myself feeling a moment of hope. I was exhausted, I took a nap. When I woke up, they were calling me to let me know it was ready. The guy on the phone, whose name was Linx (I don’t know if that’s how he spelled it, but I hope it was), told me that it had cost the full amount of the repairs but he knew I had said I was working on a tight budget so he had given me a 10% discount. It was going to be $772. Again, it was small but you know. I was down by over $100 from where I thought I would be earlier in the day and I started feeling strangely hopeful. When I picked up my car they told me they had fixed two other minor things on it as well for no extra charge and he gave me a free car wash. I must have looked fairly pitiful. But I walked out, smoked a cigarette and just stood there thinking how very kind people could be and how grateful I felt in that moment. Maybe things would somehow be okay. Obviously I still didn’t know how I would come up with $715 but you know. Who knows.
I have belonged to a message board for over 10 years now. I asked the moderator if I could put out a call for help, I wasn’t sure what else to do. People responded… amazingly. I also got my taxes filed and got a bit more than I was expecting (considering I made pretty much no money last year). I’m not quite back up to even yet but I’m astonishingly close considering where I started at. I just want to say that I’m so grateful. I had no idea how very kind and wonderful people were capable of being. I didn’t know that you could ask for help and sometimes people would give it, so generously, with absolutely no strings attached. There are times I wish that I had grown up being taught these things but to be honest, I’m almost glad I wasn’t because discovering them has been the most awe-inspiring experience of my life. I would hate to think I would take it for granted. I am consistently overwhelmed by how beautiful and amazing life can be, how wonderful people can make it even in the most stressful and difficult of times. So I guess I just want to send my general gratitude out to the universe and say that in spite of how stressful (for this and other reasons) the last few weeks have been, I would not trade my life for anything in the world. What an amazing thing life is.